The Indonesian National Aeronautics and Space Institute (LABAN) has promised to launch research on exoplanets and life outside the solar system in 2021.
“The media uses the word ‘search for extraterrestrial life’, but the technical term is looking for habitable extraterrestrials,” said Laban leader Thomas Jamaluddin. Jakarta Post Wednesday.
After the construction of the Mount Dimaw National Laboratory in the Kupang Regency in eastern Nusa Tenggara, research projects on the first planets orbiting exoplanets will begin in Indonesia.
Considered to be the largest laboratory in Southeast Asia, the facility began construction in 2017 in collaboration with Laban, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITP), Nusa Sentana University in Kubang and the local government.
Construction is expected to be completed in 2021.
“First, [construction] It should be in late 2020, but it has been postponed to 2021 due to a number of issues, including road access and the Covid 19 epidemic, ”Thomas said.
With a sophisticated telescope with a diameter of 3.8 meters, he said, the lab would further help astronomers in the hunt for extraterrestrial life-like planets.
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Astronomers have discovered more than 3,000 exoplanets outside the solar system after 20 years of observations on Earth and space, using data collected by the NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.
The Earth-sized planet TOI-700d, located 102 light-years from Earth, TESS recently discovered the first possible habitable zone. It may retain liquid water and have an atmosphere that supports life.
With the new Astronomical Observatory in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia will soon be hunting for regional extraterrestrials that could live alongside other countries.
According to Thomas, the Exoplanet hunt is one of many upcoming Laban projects that will also provide astronomy education to the public through the new research center.